An adaptation of Robert Jordan’s bestselling fantasy series has been in development for years now, popping up as a potential movie before sinking back down into the mire. Despite having spent the GDP of a small country on The Lord Of The Rings, Amazon has also ordered this – and is showing real faith in the series by commissioning a second season even as the first wraps up shooting.

Set in an epic world where magic exists but only women can use it, The Wheel Of Time follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she embarks on a dangerous journey with five young men and women across the world. Moiraine is interested in these five because she believes one of them might be the reincarnation of an incredibly powerful individual, who prophecies say will either save humanity or destroy it. Jordan’s books span 14 (though 12 onwards were finished posthumously by Brandon Sanderson using his notes and tapes) plus a prequel, so there’s material here to keep a series running for a good few years. What has been produced so far clearly impressed the executives, with this new season ordered earlier than many shows.

“The belief Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television have shown in The Wheel Of Time has been incredible to see throughout the entire process of making this show. Getting a second season order before the first season has even premiered is such a vote of confidence in the work we are doing and the property itself, and we couldn’t be happier to be able to continue to live and work in the world Robert Jordan created,” says showrunner Rafe Judkins. “This property is one I’ve loved since I was a teenager, and seeing it brought to life with the resources to make it truly worthy of what’s on the page is something I can’t wait for the other fans of the books to see. And Season 2 just keeps expanding the world we built in Season 1.”

Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kate Fleetwood, Joshua Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoe Robins and Barney Harris are also among the sprawling cast for the show, which has yet to announce a launch date.

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